Conversation: Critical Thinking

  • Ira:

    “Not only does Core give you the opportunity to learn a slew of topics you would otherwise not be exposed to, it teaches you how to think. When they first talked about how our critical thinking abilities would be developed, I sort of laughed. I thought critical thinking was just something used to criticize each other. After four semesters of Core, I can now look at different political and philosophical arguments and finally understand them to the fullest.”


    “Without a doubt, Core is my favorite class. It doesn’t teach you what to think, it teaches you how to think. It’s a different kind of work. We get a chance to explore how we see the world and an opportunity to question these views. What I learned in Core has given me an edge in all of my other classes.”


    “True, an edge, yes. Critical thinking is really what’s helped me. Its purpose and its strength are that it gives everyone who’s in the Honors College a foundation on which to build. Your writing improves immensely. When you get to those major classes, you’re so much more prepared than other students, not just at IUP, but anywhere else, because you have a solid foundation of writing and critical thinking. It may seem a little scary, especially when you’re reading about it in the viewbook, but it really is rewarding.”


    “It’s not only critical thinking, it’s synthetic thinking...taking this apart from that and taking those parts that are good and separating them from the parts that you think are completely illogical. You take the arguments that you think are sound and valid and incorporate them into your own way of thinking. It’s learning how to think, not just being spoon fed knowledge you can’t even apply.”


    “I shied away from debates in high school because I could never defend my position or convince other people to agree with me. Core taught me how to have a real argument. I learned to have the patience to listen to everything the opposing side has to say, to ask what values and assumption are behind their beliefs, and then to articulate my views. You actually end up convincing more people when you simply explain why you believe what you believe, instead of desperately attempting to rein them in to your side of the story.”